With all there is to see and buy in Cancun, shopping can overwhelm even the most astute shopper. A good place to begin your quest for Mexican crafts is at La Casa del Arte Popular Mexicano, a wonderful museum and shop located at El Embarcadero (at the northern entrance to the Hotel Zone). Mexican folk art lovers will discover an exquisite collection displayed in several museum-style rooms. A fine gift shop is also on site.
Mercado Coral Negro is a bustling and lively open-air venue situated across the street from the Forum By The Sea shopping mall. It offers souvenirs, local arts and crafts, henna tattoos, hair braiding and more. Mercado La Fiesta, carrys Mexican crafts and silver ornaments (at km 9 near TGI Friday’s Restaurant). Plaza Zocalo, situated in the Punta Cancun area of the Hotel Zone, specializes in Mexican products from across the country.
Forum is the only shopping mall located on the ocean and in the heart of the most important nightlife zone in Cancun. There’s a beach club with splendid Caribbean view making The Forum an ideal location to eat, shop and have fun. La Isla Shopping Village is the newest shopping mall and entertainment center in Cancun. The architectural design resembles a Caribbean village divided by the Nichupte lagoon. Plaza Caracol, located at the heart of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, is a traditional spot to shop or dine in a friendly and comfortable environment. The exclusive and luxurious Plaza Kukulcan mall was completely renovated in 2005.
What to buy in Cancun?
-Tequila, the national Mexican drink is distilled from the agave plant. Beware: all tequilas are not created equal! Always Look for the 100% Agave” label.
-Xtabentun (pronounced shta-ben-TUNE) makes a beautiful gift. The subtle, honey-based, anise-flavored liqueur made locally in the Yucatan, comes packaged in an elegant glass bottle the color of sapphires.
-Silverwork is inexpensive and abundant in Cancun’s markets. Look for the silver content indicated by the stamp,.925, which signifies that the metal is 92.5% pure.
-Huipiles (cool, white cotton dresses with colorful designs embroidered around the neck and hem).
-Guayaberas (short or long-sleeved shirts in white or pastels, usually made of cotton).
-Hammocks made of synthetic or natural fiber.
-Braided Palm Baskets
-Sarapes (multi-colored woven shawls)
-Somberos (very wide-brimmed traditional hats)
-Nacimientos (terra-cotta nativity figurines)
-Painted Pottery and Earthenware
-Hand-Painted Ceramic Tiles
-Leather (stamped and plain)